Similar to the 2015 Games in Gwangju, South Korea, Canadian divers were successful on the final day of the diving competition, medaling in the mixed team event. This time it was Celina Toth and Tyler Henschel earning silver at the 29th Summer Universiade in Taipei.
Ukraine took gold with 398.90 points, Canada finished with 362.80, while Germany won bronze with 353.15. Just 30 minutes before the mixed team events, Henschel finished ninth in the men’s platform final, admitting that Toth had the team event on her mind more than him.
“It wasn’t even on my mind because the individual event is a little more stressful and focused on me,” said Henschel. “After that I had about a 30-minute break and then team event. And that’s the only time I actually went ‘Okay, we are going to compete.’”
This is the second medal at the games for Toth, who also won bronze in the women’s 10m platform event on August 23. In 2015 at the Summer Universiade, she also won two medals (bronze in mixed team and gold in synchronized 10m).
“To come here with many people calling me the veteran, I kind of felt like I had the responsibility to come back (to the Universiade) and improve upon myself,” said Toth. “I did that in both events, so it’s just another step up. Everyone here (in Taipei) has been great. The volunteers have been awesome and the atmosphere at the diving has been an amazing intensity. I’ve had a blast.”
Since diving is generally looked at as an individual sport for both Toth and Henschel, competing as a team was something they wanted to have fun with. They had some fun posing for photos before the competition and supporting each other during every dive.
“It’s super fun and for me I can’t watch the diving when I’m in it and this is the only event where I can sit there and be comfortable with myself and still watch the other guys dive,” said Toth. “I get really nervous when I see others drill their dives and today I watched the Ukrainian guy, who doesn’t even dive 10m, go up and drill it for nines. I knew I had to compete that dive next against the men and I was just so relaxed and had so much fun doing it.”
This medal is also part of an improved medal total from Canada’s eight in 2015. Both student-athletes said being able to contribute to that is a great feeling.
“Getting to stand up on the podium and know that – one, you did it for yourself – but you get to come back to the village and share it with everyone else makes it just so exciting to represent the maple leaf out there,” said Toth.
“For me, yesterday when I was in the physio room getting treatment, there was a medal alert and all of a sudden everyone got excited and erased the silver medal (winners list) on the board to write another one,” said Henschel. “I said to myself ‘I want that to be us tomorrow.’”
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